President Lincoln surrounded himself with a team of rivals. Exceptional, strong-minded leaders who had no problem voicing their disagreements. He welcomed opposition, believing that a diversity of views could provide an incubator for genius. He recognized that iron sharpens iron.
I’m fortunate to work for a principal who welcomes many points of view in order to make informed, thoughtful decisions. He isn’t threatened, but rather strengthened, by the voices from his team. Luckily, we operate as colleagues rather than rivals, but we still come with our own perceptions, beliefs, and paradigms. Collaboration isn’t natural, but forged through difficult effort, that includes setting egos aside, and looking for the greater good.
So when our leadership team recently met over several weeks to craft a new vision statement for our school, we faced several challenges. We needed to put our collective genius together, and our pride aside, in order to tap into a vision that we could all invest in. A vision that could drive us. A vision, that could ignite our passions and invite our community to strive towards our collective dream.
An old proverb tells us that where there is no vision, people perish. It could also be said that where there is no collaboration, voices perish.
What emerged from our collaboration?
Dream. Strive. Believe.